Jan. 25, 2004
Bridgeport, Conn. - Charlie Bell scored a career-high 25 points and for about 20 minutes on Sunday afternoon, Loyola played with a lead over conference-rival Fairfield. A seven-minute lapse to open the second half, however, left the 'Hounds with too big a hole to dig out of and the Stags went on to win 75-56 at the Arena at Harbor Yard.
The game opened at a feverish pace with each side making every shot. The Greyhounds, which started 5-for-5, went out front 11-7 when Bernard Allen scored a breakaway layup. The Stags answered with five quick points off of turnovers, but Charlie Bell made Loyola 6-for-6 and gave the 'Hounds the lead back with a jumper from the top of the key.
Bell extended the lead to 16-12 with a deep three-point shot and knocked down technical free throw to give Loyola a five-point cushion. Fairfield closed within one point behind the shooting of Terrence Todd and Michael Bell, who combined for 24 of its 26 first-half points. The Stags took a brief first-half lead at 24-23, but Allen answered with a jumper in the corner, followed by a Charlie Bell three-pointer to move the 'Hounds ahead once again.
With an injury-ravaged lineup, the Greyhounds kept the first-half pressure on and went into the lockeroom up 32-26. The Stags, however, quickly erased Loyola's advantage and took a 16-point lead with a 22-0 run to open the second half. Loyola continued to work and with back-to-back three-pointers from Bell, the 'Hounds trailed 53-43.
"We've been in this situation before. We had a halftime lead like this at Marist," says Bell. "We know we have to work for 40 minutes and play smart with the ball. Sometimes they make shots and sometimes you're just tired."
Bell finished the game with five three-point field goals, besting his previous career-high point total of 22. Allen scored 11 points and pulled down nine rebounds while freshman Shane James added four points, five assists and five rebounds.
Loyola shot 50 percent from the field in the first half, but missed 8-of-9 free throws in the second half while the Stags made 17-of-17 free throws for the game.
"Fairfield did a great job in the second half," says Loyola Head Coach Scott Hicks. "They made 67 percent of their three-point shots and made all of their free throws. They played a perfect second half."
The Greyhounds fall to 0-9 in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. They return to Reitz Arena on Thursday night and host Marist at 7:35 p.m.